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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are our specialty here at Addison. Here’s what to expect:

1. We can answer all of your questions – and have the important facts you didn’t think to ask about.

2. We will give you a quote over the phone – no waiting.

3. Our flat rate pricing includes multiple visits – as many treatments as needed to get rid of your problem.

Important Fact: We eliminate bed bugs with only ONE VISIT. Our treatments are a lot more thorough than other services. We do three different treatments all on the same day (heat treatment, crack & crevice treatment and the residual spray treatment). We can almost always completely eradicate the infestation with only one visit – if not, we come back at no charge and perform the whole process all over again a second, third or more times within the warranty period until they are COMPETELY gone.

4. We will schedule an appointment time that is best for you – morning, daytime or evening. Same-day service is available.

We have never failed to eliminate a bed bug infestation.

Call Addison now for a free no-obligation quote: 416-628-6963.

About Bed Bugs and How To Kill Them

Your best defence against bed bugs is to hire a licensed exterminator. Licensed pest control companies have access to the effective pesticides that are restricted from the general public. There are many do-it-yourself techniques and consumer-grade products that are effective for killing individual bugs – however, do-it-yourself methods are not effective for eliminating a bed bug infestation.

Step 1 – Inspecting For and Identifying Bed Bugs

An important step for eliminating bed bugs is to assess the severity of your bed bug infestation. Are there a few bugs or hundreds? First, you need to know what to look for – adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and similar in shape and colour. Babies (nymphs) range in size depending on their age. See some magnified photos:

Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bed bug hiding under mattress seam:

Bed bug hiding under mattress seam

Watch the video below on mattress inspection techniques. Generally, you should:

  • Check the sheets, bed frames and mattresses for stains – bed bugs sometimes leave small reddish-brown smears of digested blood as they crawl along the sheets.
  • Check fabric folds and edges on and around the bedding – check sheets, pillows, stuffed animals, slippers and other items on or around the bed for bugs and signs of bugs.
  • Remove the bedding and sheets and inspect the mattress – the most common hiding spot is underneath the fold of a pillow-top mattress or under the edging material. Also check under handles, labels, and other cracks or seams.
  • Remove the mattress and inspect the box spring – check under the folds of fabric, edges and underneath the netting on the bottom where it is stapled to the wood. Remove the netting on the bottom of the box spring and look all around inside the box spring. Common hiding places in box springs include – where pieces of wood join together, screw holes or cracks in the wood, where fabric is attached to the wood, folds or seams in the fabric.
  • Remove the box spring and inspect the bed frame and headboard – all bed frames are different but do have similar hiding places. Check between the joints, screw holes and in any cracks and crevices. Bed bugs may be barely visible so look closely. A flushing agent such Wilson Pro Aerosol may be used to coax bugs out of their hiding spots.
  • Check around the bed and the rest of the house – bed bugs are small and could be hiding in innumerable places – side table, book shelf, dresser, clutter, shoes or slippers, boxes, bags or luggage, baseboards, moldings, picture frames, alarm clock radio or electronics, etc. Inspect furniture including couches, armchairs, office chairs and any other place you spend any length of time.

Note: Please remember that bed bugs are very hard to find in low-level infestations. Finding no evidence of bed bugs does not mean there are no bugs present.

Mattress Inspection Video:

 

Step 2 – Techniques for Killing Bed Bugs

A) MECHANICAL (non-chemical)

1) PHYSICALLY – Kill as many bugs as you can find! Just because you’ve booked an exterminator for a treatment a few days or a week ahead doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump on the process. Killing bugs immediately will not only keep them from biting you but will also keep them from reproducing and spreading. Use a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe them up – be sure to squeeze them with enough pressure to kill them. If they have had a recent blood meal they may leave a blood mark on the towel or surface they’re being wiped up from.

2) HEAT
High temperatures are very effective for killing all stages of bed bugs – live bugs as well as eggs, which are the hardest to kill. Heat can be applied in a number of ways:

  • Laundry – washing items in hot water will kill any bugs present. The heat from a dryer on an extended cycle on high heat setting is sure to kill anything present – live bugs as well as any. The dryer is also helpful for treating anything that cannot be run through the wash such as quilts, stuffed animals, slippers, shoes, bags, etc. – or for treating clean clothes that do not need to be washed.
  • Steam – handheld steamers somewhat effective for killing live bugs and eggs. The hot steam will kill anything it reaches but the limitation is that you will need other methods to kill bugs hiding in “unsteamable” areas.
  • Heaters – turning up your thermostat or space heaters will not produce enough heat to kill bed bugs. Whole-house heating techniques are a very expensive, dangerous and highly technical undertaking.

3) COLD
Cold temperatures are also an effective way to kill bugs. There is much debate among entomologists as to the necessary temperature and length of time necessary to fully kill all bugs and eggs present, but anecdotal evidence shows that a few days in freezing cold temperature will indeed kill bugs.

  • Winter & Outdoors – in climates where winter temperatures reach below freezing point, placing boxes or bags of items outdoors in a freezing cold garage, porch or balcony is an economical way to kill bugs and “cleanse” belongings.
  • Deep Freezer (appliance) – another home remedy is to place items in your refrigerator’s freezer or chest style deep freezer. Again, required temperature and time are debatable but freezing cold temperatures do kill bed bugs.

4) VACUUMING
Sucking up bugs is a quick way to get them off your bed – but be sure to empty and sanitize the vacuum so the bugs don’t crawl back out. Vacuuming is not effective for picking up eggs because bed bugs cement the eggs to the surface on which they are laid.

5) Throwing Out Furniture and Belongings
Bed bugs are just as likely to hide around the bed as they are to be on a mattress, box spring or bed frame. Throwing out items will eliminate any live bugs and eggs contained within those items from your home. However, it can be an expensive and often unnecessary task. Items can be salvaged if they are treated with a residual insecticide.

6) Mattress Encasements
Encasements are useful from protecting a mattress from bed bugs, but are not helpful for controlling an infestation. Bed bugs are just as likely to live on the bed frame or area around the bed as they are to be on a mattress – or on the mattress cover itself, after it is installed. The added drawback of a mattress encasement is that it may trap any bed bugs inside, away from residual pesticides that an exterminator might use to kill them. Bed bugs have the capacity to live for long periods of time (some entomologists say up to one year) without biting – covering your mattress puts you at risk of reinfestation if a bug is trapped inside and the encasement rips or opens sometime in the future.

7) Bed “Barriers”
One DIY home remedy people often try is creating a barrier around the bed. Either by putting the bed legs in dishes or by using double-sided tape or another sticky material. It is often suggested to turn the dish into a “moat” by adding water, mineral oil, rubbing alcohol, DE powder or other substance which either blocks or traps them. Sticky glue-traps (usually designed for mice) are another readily-available tool that can be placed under bed legs to act as a barrier. Be sure to keep the bed away from the walls and the sheets and blankets from touching the floor or walll, otherwise bed bugs may circumvent the barrier.

B) INSECTICIDES

1) RESIDUAL INSECTICIDES

In our experience, residual pesticides are the best way to eliminate a bed bug infestation. The degree to which an insecticide kills on contact versus leaving a toxic residue (residual) is a very important factor in the control of bed bugs. Almost all insecticides will kill bugs on contact but few (and virtually no consumer-grade products) have any residual property. Controlled pesticides that are available only to properly insured and licensed pest control companies are necessary for elimination of a bed bug infestation.

2) CONTACT INSECTICIDES

Contact insecticides often contain isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or non-residual insecticides and are usually available as aerosol or spray formulations. These are often available to the general public at hardware stores. They are not effective for bed bug control because bugs that cannot be sprayed directly will survive.

3) FUMIGATION

Structural fumigation is a highly regulated, expensive and dangerous procedure. It is effective for bed bug elimination, but fairly uncommon given the expense and disadvantages of the process.
Note: Fumigation is not to be confused with “fogging” (or “bombing”) which involves the use of an insecticide “bomb” which releases a fog or mist that kills exposed bugs. Fogging is generally ineffective for bed bug control because the fog does not penetrate deep enough into the bugs’ hiding places. It may even drive bugs that it does not kill further into hiding or into adjacent units, spreading the problem.

ABSOLUTELY DO NOT TRY THESE METHODS:

Do not put gasoline or other flammable substances on your bed or in your home. There have been a tragic news headlines of foolish people burning down their homes from employing this ridiculous DIY technique.

Do not put Raid or other harmful insecticides on or around your bed. Raid and other products are highly toxic and not designed for use on areas that will be in contact with skin. Read the and follow the instructions on the label of any product you plan to use. Do not use the product for bed bug control if it is not designated as such. It is actually unlawful to use a pesticide product in any way other than what is described on the label.

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Please contact Addison Pest Control if you have any more questions or would like to book an extermination. link: www.addisonpestcontrol.com/contact-us

Questions & Answers About Bed Bugs

Q: Are bed bugs real?
A: Yes. Many people recall bed bugs from the bedtime rhyme “good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” and assume they are fictional and used to scare small children. Bed bugs are certainly very real and are making a worldwide resurgence after being nearly eliminated as the common household problem they were in the early – mid 1900’s.

Q: What are bed bugs?

A: Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. They are usually active at night when people are sleeping.

Q: Are bed bugs big enough to see?
A: Yes. Adult bed bugs have flat, rusty-red-coloured oval bodies that resemble an apple seed in size, shape and colour, easily seen with the naked eye. However, they are adept at hiding and are most often hidden away in cracks, crevices, screw holes or other places on or around the bed frame, baseboards and surrounding furniture and clutter. It can be very difficult to see or find a bed bug when it is hiding.

Q: Do bed bugs live in the mattress?

A: Bed bugs can live in a mattress but contrary to popular belief, they are not tiny mite-sized creaters that permeate the fabric and paddingon the top of the mattress – they cannot travel through fabric but rather crawl on and around it. Bed bugs can travel through rips or holes in a mattress so it is possible for the bugs to live inside mattresses and box springs. It is far more common that bed bugs live along the folds and seams of a mattress’s exterior – or in cracks and holes in the bed frame or surrounding baseboards, flooring and furniture.

Q: What does a bed bug bite feel and look like?

A: Most bed bug bites are initially painless, but later turn into large, itchy skin welts. These welts do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites. HOWEVER, some people do not react at all to bed bug bites – that is, they are indeed getting bitten at night but do not develop any sign, redness, itchiness, swelling or otherwise. Some entomologists say up to 30% of the population does not react to bites. We, at Addison, feel this is contributing significantly to the spread of bed bugs – people who show no signs of bites often have the worst infestations because they have no reason for concern and do not realize they have bed bugs – and that they are spreading the bugs to friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, etc.

Q: Are bed bugs dangerous?
A: Although bed bugs are a nuisance, they are not known to spread disease.

Q: How does a home become infested with bed bugs?

A: In most cases, people carry bed bugs into their homes unknowingly, in infested luggage, furniture, bedding, or clothing. Bed bugs may also travel between apartments through small crevices and cracks in walls and floors.

Q: How do I know if my home is infested with bed bugs?
A: You may notice itchy skin welts. You may also see the bed bugs themselves, small bloodstains from crushed insects, or dark spots from their droppings. It is often hard to see them because they hide in or near beds, other furniture, and in cracks.

Q: How can I get rid of bed bugs?
A: The City of Toronto recommends hiring a pest control professional licensed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to get rid of bed bugs. Unlicensed exterminators are working illegally, have no insurance and do not have access to purchase the effective pesticides necessary to eliminate bed bugs – purchasing professional-grade pesticides requires a valid license in Ontario. There are many home remedies, DIY solutions and consumer-grade products described on the internet and found in hardware stores – these are generally ineffective compared to the professional-grade products available to licensed exterminators and almost entirely ineffective against severe infestations.

Q: Is it necessary to use insecticides to get rid of bed bugs?
A: There are many non-toxic do-it-yourself techniques and non-toxic consumer-grade products that are effective for killing individual bugs – however, they are not adequate for elimination of an established infestation. They are not pervasive enough to reach and kill all bed bugs living in a dwelling. Residual insecticides that stay active for weeks at a time are a necessary component for eliminating bed bugs completely because they will continue to affect any bugs that come out of their hiding places at a time long after the exterminator visit.

Please feel free to call us with any more questions or to discuss specific ways to address your particular bed bug problem.

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